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Property market ‘must be sustainable’

The property sector was previously not given the importance it deserved, says the MDA. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The property sector was previously not given the importance it deserved, says the MDA. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

The Government wants the property market to become sustainable, Economy Minister Chris Cardona said yesterday during a meeting with the Malta Developers Association.

These proposals will be implemented following broad consultation with all stakeholders

He listed a number of Labour electoral proposals aimed at achieving this, such as extending from seven to 12 years the period within which a property owner can pay capital gains tax or 12 per cent sales tax.

He mentioned the reduction of stamp duty for first-time buyers and the removal of the five per cent tax on the transfer of the first residential property acquired by inheritance or donation from the parents.

The Government, he said, was also planning an optional 15 per cent flat tax rate on income from the rental of residential properties and would discontinue the evaluation of sold property by government architects – no longer would buyers have to pay big bills months after properties change hands.

Schemes such as the High Net Worth Individuals and Permanent Resident Scheme, which offer a set of incentives for foreigners to settle in Malta, had to be improved while others were needed to attract foreigners to invest in Maltese property. These proposals would be implemented following broad consultation with all the stakeholders, he said.

Association president Michael Falzon said they were satisfied with the Government’s proposals as most of them had been put forward by the association.

The association was ready to help so that the property market would be revived as the sector was previously not given the importance it deserved, he said.

Sandro Chetcuti, association vice-president, said the association included many small developers and they were looking into widening it for trades people such as electricians, tile layers and those who did gypsum work.

The aim of the association was to educate people who were giving the industry a bad name through their lack of compliance with regulations and with health and safety, he said.

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